Rosso Emerald Crimson

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Expressive Women Emerge through a Haze of Oil Paint in Rosso Emerald Crimson’s Portraits

March 29, 2023

Grace Ebert

An oil painted portrait of a Black woman seated wearing a white gown

All images © Rosso Emerald Crimson, shared with permission

Against backdrops of streaky paint strokes, scratches, and remnants of patterned wallpaper, Rosso Emerald Crimson (previously) depicts women at ease, their figures emerging from a haze of gauzy gowns and masses of hair. The London-based artist is interested in women’s psychology as she visualizes aspects of the feminine that vacillate from the confident and assured to the demure. Dressed in full garments that mask much of their bodies, the subjects’ facial expressions and comportments are the central focus. Crimson elaborates:

The field of emotions that I represent fluctuates from the plein naïf to the melancholic to the bold and fierce, and these are purely based on my very personal state of being while I create. That is why, paradoxically, the more colourful and exuberant the paintings appear, the more introspective they are. I do feel like subconsciously I am funnelling all my experience as a woman, with my failures, and success, my irrationality and wisdom, my fears and dreams.

Crimson’s painting “Waiting for my Valentine” is on view at MEAM in Barcelona through June 25, and she was recently chosen to participate in Artdom, a program matching artists from two different countries, which will open its next exhibition on April 22 in Oslo. For more from the artist, visit her site and Instagram.


An oil painted portrait of a white girl with her eyes closed wearing a white gown with blue dots

An oil painted portrait of a Black woman seated wearing a white gown with a colorful pattern

An oil painted portrait of a young Black girl wearing a white gown with red dots

An oil painted portrait of a Black woman seated wearing a black gown

An oil painted portrait of an Asian woman seated wearing a black gown and hairpiece

An oil painted portrait of a Black girl seated wearing a white gown with red dots






Sublime Renderings of Women and Girls Explore Notions of Beauty in Portraits by Rosso Emerald Crimson

March 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

“You Better Be Good” (2021), oil on panel, 36 x 36 centimeters. All images © Rosso Emerald Crimson, shared with permission

In her exquisite portraiture, London-based artist Rosso Emerald Crimson renders female subjects who emerge through a haze of pastels and muted tones. She infuses the dreamy oil paintings with responses to current affairs and questions about the future, which often serve as a catalyst for her projects. “I don’t ‘think’ specifically about political or ethical issues when I paint although my creative flow is undoubtedly fuelled by the impressions and emotions many global events leave subconsciously,” she tells Colossal. Issues of racial justice and the unrealistic portrayal of beauty have both played a role in her recent works, including the compelling portrait of a young Black girl titled “What Are We Waiting For.”

Generally, the subjects are people Rosso has a relationship with or someone who’s caught her eye, although she’s expanded her purview to models she’s never met as a way to adapt to pandemic restrictions. The artist often depicts the women and girls staring forward with unsmiling expressions. “I am enchanted by the diversity of human beings which is what truly makes us beautiful,” she says.

If you’re in London, you can see Rosso’s paintings that are part of an exhibition celebrating Women’s History Month at Zebra One Gallery until March 31. She’ll also have pieces on view at Southbank Centre this summer and a solo show at Chrom Art Gallery in November. Prints and originals are available in her shop, and you can see works-in-progress on Instagram.


“Enchantress” (2020), oil on canvas, 25 x 18 centimeters

“Oyin” (2020), oil on aluminum, 24 x 18 centimeters

“Tenderly Layla” (2020), oil on aluminum, 20 x 15 centimeters

Left: “Flora” (2020), oil on aluminum, 65 x 50 centimeters. Right: “Girl with ginger hair” (2021), oil on canvas panel, 26 x 20 centimeters

“What Are We Waiting For” (2020), oil on panel, 30 x 27 centimeters

“Girl in polka dress” (2020), oil and silver leaf on panel, 122 x 85 centimeters



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